Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Traffic Jams and Homemade Cookies

I’ve been in Nairobi since Saturday and I’ve had a bit of a chance to get used to it. I was always a bit afraid of Nairobi because it’s such a big city, I didn’t know my way around and it’s not necessarily the safest city. But, after being around town a bit, it’s really not bad and I’m getting used to it. It’s a bit different than the last time I was here and also quite different from Dar es Salaam. There are so many people everywhere and very many vehicles. There are always traffic jams. The matatus (minibuses) have been regulated and now they all have a yellow strip down the side, they list the route number and destination and there are only 14 people in each vehicle. Wow! They even have seatbelts, which I appreciate, although I don’t think any one else uses them. The plan, though, is to phase out the matatus and replace them with 28 seat small buses by 2008. This is designed to ease congestion, but I cannot image Kenya without matatus.

Before we left today, we heard that Mombasa Road was jammed (which is our route), and when we went to the place to get our matatu, there were many people waiting, but no vehicles. So when one came, we pushed and managed to get 2 spots. Well, Lucy did and I had to push in too if I wanted to stay with her. I felt a little bad because other people had been waiting longer, but that’s what you have to do if you want a ride. If we hadn’t, I don’t know how long we would have been waiting.

Tonight we made chocolate chip cookies, which was a lot of fun. The boys (Arnold and Ted, Lucy’s kids) had a blast pouring and stirring. The cookies came out pretty well for using real cups and spoons to measure, although I think we put a little too much sugar – they are quite sweet. Lucy had been wanting to learn to bake some new things, and chocolate chip cookies are the one thing I know how to make without needing a recipe.

We’re heading to Western Kenya on Monday, and will be able to stop and see friends in Nakuru on the way. It’s been fun here with Lucy and her family in Nairobi but I think it will be nice to be in a place where I will stay for a while and be able to unpack and settle down. Still, I’m a little nervous about being on my own and needing to plan everything by myself. On the other hand, when people have asked me in the past few months what God has been teaching me, I have definitely said that I am becoming a stronger person. Hopefully this will be another opportunity to learn, grow, meet challenges and overcome them. Please pray that I would be strong and courageous and that I would be able to stand up to anxiety and fear. I know that my research is decently planned and that when I get back into the middle of thinking about it and doing it, it will be a lot of fun and that it will come out okay. One day at a time. One step at a time.

I’m starting to feel a little lonely, which doesn’t necessarily make sense because I’m around people all the time. Still, I think I’m getting to the point where I’ve been away from my husband long enough that it’s getting a little old, but not long enough that I’ll see him anytime soon. We’ve both been really busy, and we’ve been able to talk on the phone almost once a week, so it hasn’t been too bad, but I still would rather be with him. Please pray for continued strength and perseverance for us both. Please pray also that we would be wise in how we communicate so that we will come back together in the end having shared all these experiences and without feeling a lot of distance between us.

Well, I’d better get to bed. A lady is coming early tomorrow morning to braid Lucy’s hair and mine (we bought hair extensions for it today). We’ll see how it comes out. Maybe I’ll even post a picture.

Love you all. Have a great day. Especially all the Halter gang at the Halter Happening this weekend.

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